my sister the executor , also refused in writing to disclose appraisal , court document " inventory " , listed item as $ 0 . 00s Executor opened auction for item ( Jewelry Box ) with a bid for $ 400 . 00 and set 5 PM next day as end of auction . I ibid $ 401 . 00 at 4 : WPM and also stated in writing that I automatically raise my bid $ 01 . 00 above any legitimate bid , and that the auction , per her date / time specification was now over . Ship the Item . She then re - opened the auction , and bid $ 600 . 00 . Executor then refused a bid for $ 700 . 00 from my wife , unidentified except for being " an interested party " The Independent Executor has Power of Sale per will , but there were no estate debts , WILL does not give specific authority to Purchase estate property . advise please , thank you .
There is recourse through the probate court. Whether it is worth it to pursue this is something you would need to decide. It will likely cost far more than the value of the item to challenge this. But if you are determined to do so, you would be best to retain an attorney. It is possible that you may be able to surcharge the executor and force her to pay the costs.
***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!
Estate Planning Attorney
Sorry to hear about this. I agree with Mr. Fredrick and would add that usually a Will disposes of personal property by leaving it to a certain person or persons. If it is left to more than one person, usually there is some provision in the Will as to how the property is divided if everyone can't agree. You may want to have an attorney look at the will to determine if it directs how personal property is to be divided. Perhaps the will divides personal property between the children, with the property to be auctioned if everyone doesn't agree on how the property is split. I am speculating, but the Executor has a duty to distribute according to the Will, unless there is a contrary court order. As such, you want to be clear on what the Will directs the Executor to do with the personal property.
Most attorneys give a free initial consultation, so if the item is of particular importance, it may be worth your time to at least sit down with a probate attorney and determine what recourse you may have, if any.
Newill Law Firm
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Oil / Gas Attorney
I agree with the other attorneys and only wanted to add the following. Executors owe a fiduciary duty to the estate. As part of that duty, they cannot engage in self-dealing if it would harm the estate or beneficiaries. You probably need to consult an attorney to know what recourse you may have and the cost involved, if that is an issue.
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